Maine Forest and Logging Museum preparing for big event later this month

A Cletrac tractor is one of many operational pieces of machinery at the museum
A Cletrac tractor is one of many operational pieces of machinery at the museum(wabi)
Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 6:16 PM EDT
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BRADLEY, Maine (WABI) -On Saturday, July 24th, the Maine Forest and Logging Museum at Leonard’s Mills in Bradley will hold their first summer event in two years.

“It’s very exciting to be opening again.” says Herb Crosby, volunteer and President of the Maine Forest and Logging Museum. “The museum was founded 61 years ago by a lot of volunteers who wanted to share Maine’s lumbering heritage.”

What does it take to maintain over 400 acres of land with buildings, machines, sawmills, and more?

As volunteer Tim Beaulieu puts it, “Lots of volunteers and patience and ingenuity.”

Beaulieu was operating the water-powered mill as he spoke, a massive saw slowly working its way through a 12 foot log.

“The volunteers are amazing.” said Crosby. “They come in every Tuesday to work on different machinery and keep it running.”

The ‘Tuesday Crew,’ as they call themselves, are constantly problem-solving and repairing the aging machinery and buildings, working hard to keep history alive.

Fran Day volunteers in the museum gift shop. She says she’s loved the outdoor-focused museum for decades.

“When my kids were younger, the schools would bring them out here and then as a family we would come out for the special events.”

Wayne Rivers and Charlie Weymouth were working on getting a sawdust chute operational at one of the museum’s sawmills.

“I got involved two years ago.” says Rivers. “When I saw a piece on Channel 5.”

Maddie and Charlotte Hannan were visiting the museum with their family, coming from Weymouth Massachusetts. They said it was great how enthusiastic the volunteers were.

“It was unexpected how many people volunteer on this and how excited they all are to share what they know about it.” said Maddie.

“You just understand things a lot more and understand why they are the way they are when you see what they used to be like.” added Charlotte.

“Maine’s got a wonderful history of inventing and solving problems.” said Crosby. “Everything you can look at was developed and made right here in Maine by relatively ordinary but I think exceptional people.”

One of the big attractions is the steam-powered Lombard log hauler, which, along with several other machines, will be operating during the big event.

“It’s the first ever successful tracked vehicle. It led to bulldozers and snowmobiles and tanks and excavators.”

Visitors can look forward to blacksmithing demonstrations, bean hole beans, and lots of things to do, see, and learn.

“I invite everybody to come, bring your friends and check it out.” said Day. “You might get a ride on the Lombard log hauler.”

The “Heavy Metal Summer” event will take place Saturday, July 24th from 10am to 3pm.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids, and $30 for a family of four.

For more information on the event or how to volunteer you can visit their website.

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